• DNA;
  • real-time PCR;
  • soil extraction;
  • spores


Aims:  To evaluate six commercial DNA extraction kits for their ability to isolate PCR-quality DNA from Bacillus spores in various soil samples.

Methods and Results:  Three soils were inoculated with various amounts of Bacillus cereus spores to simulate an outbreak or intentional release of the threat agent Bacillus anthracis. DNA was isolated from soil samples using six commercial DNA extraction kits. Extraction and purification efficiencies were assessed using a duplex real-time PCR assay that included an internal positive control. The FastDNA® SPIN kit for Soil showed the highest DNA extraction yield, while the E.Z.N.A.® Soil DNA and PowerSoil® DNA Isolation kits showed the highest efficiencies in removing PCR inhibitors from loam soil extracts.

Conclusions:  The results of this study suggest that commercially available extraction kits can be used to extract PCR-quality DNA from bacterial spores in soil. The selection of an appropriate extraction kit should depend on the characteristics of the soil sample and the intended downstream application.

Significance and Impact of the Study:  The results of this study aid in the selection of an appropriate DNA extraction kit for a given soil sample. Its application could expedite sample processing for real-time PCR detection of a pathogen in soil.